2017 FIVB BEACH VOLLEYBALL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – VIENNA
- July 28 to August 6
- Vienna Centre Court, Vienna, Austria
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Brazilian pair Elize Maia and Taiana Lima followed up their win over 8th-seeded Barbara/Fernanda on Friday with another upset over Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre.
For the Brazilians, that means that as the 32nd seed, they now have upsets over the #17 and #8 seeds in the tournament, and have clinched a free pass to the round of 32 elimination bracket.
The pair are better than their seed, but struggled at two big tournaments in May and June where they lost their openers and advanced no further, which has hurt their seed coming into this tournament.
Heidrich and Verge-Depre are a new pairing this year as well, joining forces after their partners retired. They won the teams’ previous matchup this year, 2-1, at the Gstaad major just 3 weeks ago. After an inconsistent start, the pair have played very well together this year, with four top-5 finishes in a row on the World Tour.
In Saturday’s match, both pairs showed their quality at different points in the match. In the 2nd set, where the Swiss pair dominated, they were serving Taiana Lima heavily. In spite of that success, in the final set they went back to serving Maia (as they did heavily in the first set), and that wasn’t a winning formula for them.
Statistically, the two sides were fairly evenly matched. Heidrich/Verge-Depre had 1 more ace and hit at a higher percentage, but the Brazilians had 1 more block, and more significantly served better in the two sets they won (all 6 of their aces were in the 1st and 3rd sets).
Heidrich and Verge Depre will now have to beat Barbara/Fernanda on Monday to assure themselves of a spot in the field of 32 – though if they can even steal a set, that would leave them in a strong position with a 1.00 set ratio, to get one of the 3rd-place spots straight through to the elimination bracket.